Choir

About the Program 

West High School is proud to offer four curricular choral ensembles, including Chamber Choir, Varsity Treble Choir, Concert Bass Choir, and Chorale Choir. In addition, West has extra-curricular ensembles; Vocal Spectrum, and the WHS Jazz Choir.

The Iowa High School Music Association sanctions our high school choir competitions and events. Through involvement in choir, students learn valuable life skills including teamwork, concentration and focus, and confidence.    

Students in Action

Ensembles  

Vocal Spectrum is a vocal jazz ensemble. Vocal Spectrum has competed at USD’s Coyote Jazz Festival, Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships, SWICC Fox Fest, and Lewis and Clark Jazz Festival. The group is comprised of singers in grades 9-12. 

Chamber Choir is an elite, auditioned choral ensemble. As the flagship ensemble of West High School, these singers act as ambassadors for the choral department. Chamber Choir offers challenging vocal music literature and represents the school in public concerts and school performances. Students must have musical maturity to perform complex literature. Students in Chamber Choir compete at both the IHSMA State Large Group and Small Group Festivals each year. 

Varsity Treble Choir is a performance ensemble available to students interested in performing higher-level literature. This ensemble focuses on part singing; literature performed by large groups and improved rehearsal responsiveness. Students must audition to participate in this choir. Students in Varsity Treble Choir participate in four concerts a year and State Large. 

Concert Bass Choir offers challenging vocal music literature and represents the school in public concerts and school performances. Students must have musical maturity to perform complex literature.

Chorale Choir offers challenging vocal music literature and represents the school in public concerts and school performances. Students must have musical maturity to perform complex literature. 

Notable Achievements 

IHSMA Solo/Ensemble Contest: 

  • Numerous Division 1 – Superior ratings 

  • Best of Center Awards – Two soloists, Madrigal group, and Chamber Choir 

  • IHSMA State Large Group Contest: Received Superior Division I Ratings 12 times over the last 14 years. 

Over 40+ All-Staters have been selected since 2006 for the Iowa All-State Chorus 

Vocal Spectrum Achievements:  

  • USD Coyote Jazz Festival – 1st place 13 of the last 14 years and 1 2nd place 

  • Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships – competed in 10 of the last fourteen years since it started in 2007 

  • Places include 3rd place -7th place over the years with an outstanding 4A Soloists Award 

  • Participated at the SWICC Fox Fest for 10 of the last 14 years 

  • Lewis and Clark Jazz Festival for the last 13 years and placed 1st and/or 2nd respectfully throughout the years 

Events 

The West High choir department puts on an annual Madrigal dinner seasonal concerts. The department also collaborates with the West High drama club for the annual musical and participates in state-level events with the IHSMA. These events include the All-State festival, solo and small ensemble festival, large group festival, and ICDA events including High School Honor Choir and the Iowa Choral Showcase.

Meet the Director 

Boe Hodnefield

Boe Hodnefield

Send Boe Hodnefield a message

Boe T. Hodnefield is in his seventeenth year as Director of Choral Activities at West High School in Sioux City, IA. At WHS his conducting responsibilities include Chamber Choir, Concert Bass Choir, Varsity Treble choir, Chorale Treble Choir, West High’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble Vocal Spectrum, and a History of American Popular Music class. Mr. Hodnefield is in demand throughout the Midwest, state, and tri-state area as a clinician and adjudicator for vocal jazz in addition to frequently adjudicating for solo/ensemble and large group state contests for the Iowa High School Music Association. Choirs under Mr. Hodnefield’s direction continue to receive numerous awards and honors statewide and regionally such as Best Vocal awards, Best of Center, All-State participation/acceptance, and consistent straight Division I ratings at state solo/ensemble and large group contests.

In addition to public school teaching, Mr. Hodnefield has been a sectional leader for the Cathedral of the Epiphany choir and St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Mr. Hodnefield has been the guest conductor at the Briar Cliff Christmas at the Orpheum, which featured his Chamber Choir in addition to directing other collegiate/community choirs and the Sioux City Symphony. Mr. Hodnefield was also the assistant director, as a graduate student, of the University of Northern Iowa Men’s Glee Club, UNI singers, and UNI Chamber singers and he has also been an assistant director for the Chorale Midwest ensemble and the Chorale Midwest Chamber singers which is a semiprofessional chorale ensemble based in Cedar Rapids, IA. 

Mr. Hodnefield is a magnum cum laude graduate from the University of Northern Iowa where he earned a Bachelors’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s in Music with an emphasis in Choral Conducting. Mr. Hodnefield holds professional memberships and affiliations with the American Choral Directors Association, Iowa Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, Iowa Alliance for the Arts, and IMEA, and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.